|Portrait of Rainer Maria Rilke|
Maler Helmut Westhoff
Today my focus falls on Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1929), whose work enjoys lasting popularity. Rilke was unique in his efforts to expand the realm of poetry through new uses of syntax and imagery and in the philosophy that his poems explored. With regard to the former, W. H. Auden declared in New Republic,"Rilke's most immediate and obvious influence has been upon diction and imagery." Rilke expressed ideas with "physical rather than intellectual symbols. While Shakespeare, for example, thought of the non-human world in terms of the human, Rilke thinks of the human in terms of the non-human, of what he calls Things (Dinge)." Read more about the poet at the following SOURCE. Further reading HERE.
I have included two extracts from his work by way of example:
from I Am Much Too Alone In This World, Yet Not Alone
I want my conscience to be
true before you;
want to describe myself like a picture I observed
for a long time, one close up,
like a new word I learned and embraced,
like the everday jug,
like my mother’s face,
like a ship that carried me along
through the deadliest storm.
and from Archaic Torso of Apollo
We cannot know his legendary head
with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso
is still suffused with brilliance from inside,
like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,
gleams in all its power.
Read more of his poems HERE.
|The Familiar Objects|
Rene Magritte (1928)
OUR CHALLENGE: Write a poem on a subject of your choice, not to emulate the writing style of Rilke, but to include diction and imagery which portrays humans in terms of the non-human within the style of your own work.